It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice Giveaway day! Here’s how Reader’s Choice works. Each week, let me know in the comments which of these sounds most promising to you, and you could win it—or any other book of your choice up to US$20 when I draw a winner at the end of each month! I will post the winner on the last day of each month. As is almost always true, this is open to international entries.
First off, the winner of the September Reader’s Choice giveaway is…NATALIE BOOKLOVERSLIFE, who chose the new Millennium’s Rule book by Trudi Cavanan, but can substitute any book at all, print or digital, up to US$20. Just let me know what you want by emailing me via the contact tab on this page or at suzannej3523 at gmail.
SANDY G and BARBED1951 won digital copies of Lexi George’s new book, Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex. MIKI won a print copy. Just let me know your contact info by emailing me via the contact tab on this page or at suzannej3523 at gmail.
And now for the new releases… See what you think of these and let me know which one most floats your boat! The usual disclaimer: These are not all the new releases for this week, just the ones I thought might most interest readers of this blog. Nor is it an endorsement of any listed book since I haven’t yet read them.
All the Pretty Little Horses by Mira Grant
A Newsflesh novella from the New York Times bestselling author that brought you Feed, Mira Grant….Stacy and Michael Mason are among the most famous heroes of the zombie apocalypse. Stacy, however, has fallen into a deep depression after having to shoot their infected son. In the aftermath of the pandemic, they start publicly documenting the recovery effort, which Michael hopes will take Stacy’s mind off of her trauma and help her recover….As they film the rescue of an enclave of orphans and report on the orphanages that have sprung up to care for traumatized, parent-less children, they begin to consider the last, greatest step of recovery: adoption.
Crescent Prophecy (Crescent Witch Chronicles #2) by Axelle Chandler
Of all the things Skye Williams ever thought she’d be, a witch wasn’t one of them.
Now her power has been unleashed, she must prepare for a war that’s been brewing for centuries. Easier said than done when she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing, and keeping it a secret isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, either….She can’t light a candle to save herself, her new employee may or may not be a fae spy, things are awkward with her new shapeshifter boyfriend, Boone, the entire village is planning their spring wedding…then her ex, Alex, shows up out of the blue. He wants her back, and he’s not prepared to let her go without a fight. Talk about complicated. …The battles for magic and Skye’s heart are on, but when a prophecy is delivered from an unlikely source, things get worse. Much worse….Someone’s trying to break the curse that’s keeping the greatest evil Ireland’s ever seen—the witch Carman—off its shores, and Skye is the key to breaking it. One thing’s for certain, whoever’s out for her blood can’t get their hands on her, or the battle is over before it’s even begun. The race to stop Carman’s return is on, and to save everyone she loves, Skye’ll do anything….And when she says anything, she means anything.
Desert Wolf and Protector Wolf by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom and Linda O. Johnston
DESERT WOLF: For Grant Wade, former Texas Ranger and a Lycan Alpha, Desperado is the perfect refuge for his desert pack and a safe shelter for other werewolves. But when Paxton Hall returns after decades away, Grant’s not sure what he’s protecting her from more–a rogue predator on the prowl, her own true nature or his animal desire… PROTECTOR WOLF: Naturalist Maya Everton is threatened by a pack of wolves until another wolf drives them off. Her rescuer is Lieutenant Ryan Blaiddinger of the Alpha Force–an elite unit of shape-shifters. Though Ryan’s mission is at odds with Maya’s, the scientist and soldier must unite to protect area wolves from locals…though resisting their own natural instincts may be their toughest battle.
Destiny’s Conflict (Wars of Light and Shadow #10) by Janny Wurts
The long-awaited second book of the fourth story arc – Sword of the Canon – in the epic fantasy series, the Wars of Light and Shadow….Lysaer’s unstable integrity lies under threat of total downfall, and as his determined protector, Daliana will face the most frightening decision of her young life….Arithon, Master of Shadow, is marked for death and still hunted, when his critical quest to recover his obscured past entangles him in a web of deep intrigue and ancient perils beyond his imagining….Elaira’s urgent pursuit of the Biedar Tribes’ secret embroils her in the terrible directive of the Fellowship Sorcerers, while Dakar — the Mad Prophet — confronts the hard reckoning for the colossal mistake of his misspent past, and Tarens is steered by a destiny far from his crofter’s origins….The penultimate volume of The Wars of Light and Shadow will touch the grand depths of Athera’s endowment, and deliver the thrilling finale of arc IV, the Sword of the Canon….War, blood, magic, mystery – and the most hidden powers of all – will stand or fall on their hour of unveiling.
Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #23) by Terry Spear
May all your Christmas wolves be bright…Romance writer Candice Mayfair never missed a deadline in her life–until the playful bite of a werewolf puppy accidentally turns her into an Arctic wolf shifter. Talk about a life-changing event! Candice is at the end of her rope with the unpredictable shifting, a strong desire to howl, and the need to vacuum constantly to keep the shedding fur under control….Enter werewolf private investigator Owen Nottingham. Owen has a new mission: convince the pretty she-wolf she needs to join his pack in time for Christmas…and be his mate. It’s the only way he can think of to keep her safe…
Edgedancer (Stormlight Archive #2.5) by Brandon Sanderson
Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older–a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility. Novella.
Fracture (Midnight Ice #3) by Kaitlyn Davis
When you fall for the devil, you’re bound to get burned….Pandora Scott’s world has blown up once again, but this time she’s learned her lesson–saving the world isn’t a job she can do solo. She needs friends. But when her strongest ally also happens to be the boy who shattered her heart, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Especially since the person she has to destroy might just be the love of her life. With her fate hanging in the balance, Pandora’s got to make a choice. Forgive? Forget? Fight? Or falter? But everything changes when she realizes that the people she thought were heroes might be villains, and the good guys aren’t always as trustworthy as they seem…
Mageborn (Age of Dread #1) by Stephen Aryan
It’s been ten years since the battlemage war, where thousands died as mages sundered the earth and split the sky….Habreel believes eradicating magic is the only way to ensure a lasting peace. He will do anything to achieve his goal, even if it means murdering every child born with the ability. …As deaths involving magic increase and the seat of magical learning – the Red Tower – falls under suspicion, two students and one lawbringer must do everything they can to combat Habreel and his followers, before magic disappears from the world for good.
Magic & Mischief (Starry Hollow Witches #3) by Annabel Chase
Welcome to Starry Hollow, where spells were made to be broken. …When a handful of Starry Hollow residents experience their worst nightmares in real life, witch-in-training Ember Rose must use her budding journalist skills to figure out the who, what, why, when, where and how before it’s too late. Will she manage to stop the curse before her own worst nightmare comes true?
Monster: The Early Life of Mary Shelley by Mark Arnold
Two centuries ago this year, the young woman who invented science fiction was only 20 when she wrote the book that became Frankenstein. Mary Shelley said, “People ask how I, then a young girl, could think of, and dilate upon, so hideous subject?” Her father gave her a far better education than any woman of the age could hope for and made her the victim of ongoing incest. At 15, she became involved to one of the greatest poets in England and made love to him on her mother’s grave. When she was 16, she escaped from home by running away for a six-week walking tour of Europe and formed a menage a trois with Shelley and her sister. Her immediate influences were two of the greatest poets of the age. Her lover, Percy Shelley, coached her to expand her understanding of writing. Her mentor, Lord Byron, challenged her to prove she was as good a writer as the best poet-philosophers of the Enlightenment. Both men admired her mind, and both wanted more. By the time she was 20, she published the book that changed the world.
My Viking Wolf (Howls Viking Romance #1) by Gwen Knight
Reagan Compton trusts two things in life: her pack and her blade. Love never once registered on her radar. Until she meets the shadow wolf–a Viking assassin hired by her so-called fiancé to kill her. Luckily, he’s more interested in claiming her for himself. Falling for her hired assassin wasn’t a part of her life plans, but he’s changing her mind fast. Love isn’t easy, but it beats the hell out of death.
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, edited by John Joseph Adams and Charles Yu
Science fiction and fantasy can encompass so much, from far-future deep-space sagas to quiet contemporary tales to unreal kingdoms and beasts. But what the best of these stories do is the same across the genres—they illuminate the whole gamut of the human experience, interrogating our hopes and our fears. With a diverse selection of stories chosen by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Charles Yu, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 continues to explore the ever-expanding and changing world of SFF today, with Yu bringing his unique view—literary, meta, and adventurous—to the series’ third edition.
The Bloodprint (Khorasan Archives #x) by Ausma Zehanat Khan
A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing….But there are those who fight the Talisman’s spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world….Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.
The Genius Plague by David Walton
What if the pandemic you thought would kill you made you more intelligent instead? In the Amazon jungle, a disease is spreading. To those who survive, it grants enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle may be the sinister survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it. …Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?
The Naturalist (Naturalist #1) by Andrew Mayne
Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop….As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue…or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?
The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency) by K. Arsenault Rivera
Even gods can be slain….The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests….Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons….This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.
The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl
1916, Butte, Montana: City of the Copper Kings. Solomon Parker is old, broken and in debt to very bad people. He’s always managed to stay one step ahead of his last bad decision, but more than anything, he wishes life had turned out differently. Little does he know that for him and his young protege, Billy Morgan, that wish is about to come true. The Above Ones, the gods of the People, are bored. Their servant, Marked Face is coming, and he’s bringing his dice…
The Well-Built City Trilogy (Collection) by Jeffrey Ford
The Well-Built City is a hellish place of unrelenting nightmare, ruled with cruelty, oppression, and terror by the inscrutable madman Drachton Below. In his multiple-award-winning, New York Times Notable trilogy, Jeffrey Ford creates a dystopia that chronicles the hubris, downfall, and damnation of a highly placed functionary responsible for determining who will live or die according to their facial structure.
The Physiognomy: With his unimpeachable authority to condemn and destroy, the pompous, drug-addicted Cley is one of the most feared civil servants in Drachton Below’s Well-Built City. But when the Master himself dispatches him to a remote mining town to recover a stolen object of unimaginable power, events will cause the physiognomist to doubt his science and the reality of his world.
Memoranda: Exiled in the wilderness, Cley’s newfound peace is shattered when his village is struck with a terrible sleeping sickness. Joining forces with Drachton Below’s demon son, Misrix, the former physiognomist must reenter the now-ruined city to find a cure hidden in the insane labyrinth of the Master’s mind.
The Beyond: On a journey chronicled by the half-demon Misrix, one-time physiognomist Cley travels deep into a mysterious and dangerous Beyond to face untold terrors as he attempts to right an unspeakable wrong.
The White Song (Chronicles of the Black Gate #5) by Phil Tucker
The Empire is on the verge of collapse. The kragh invasion has broken upon the rising tide of demons. Tens of thousands have died, yet that is as nothing compared to the coming apocalypse. Desperate, beleaguered, and without recourse, Asho and his friends will have to make common cause with their enemies if they are to confront the rising tide of evil. Yet even that may prove insufficient. The forces unleashed by the Iron Circlet are overwhelmingly powerful, and have but a single goal: the conquering of the Black Gate.
The Witch’s Quest (Decadent Dames) by Michele Hauf
Kelyn Saint-Pierre always had a bit of a thing for Valor Hearst. But after he makes a harrowing sacrifice to save the tomboyish witch from a gruesome death, Kelyn’s certain that any spark between them is gone forever….Valor wishes she’d known about Kelyn’s crush before she ruined everything. There may be a way she can repay her smoking-hot champion…but it won’t be easy. Circling the globe on a dangerous mission that pits them against deadly magics and dark creatures, Kelyn and Valor are pushed scorchingly close together. But surrendering to passion may only further bind them in pain…
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017, edited by Rich Horton
This ninth volume of the year’s best science fiction and fantasy features thirty stories by some of the genre’s greatest authors, including Charlie Jane Anders, Steven Barnes, Seth Dickinson, Kameron Hurley, Rich Larson, Ian R. MacLeod, Paul McAuley, Adam Roberts, Lavie Tidhar, Genevieve Valentine, CarrieVaughn, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov’s, Bridging Infinity, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Lightspeed, and other top venues, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
Catherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.
Watcher (Chosen #1) by Roh Morgon
This is the second edition of a previously published work. This edition includes new content and a new cover….Predator. Killer. Monster. The words echo in Sunny Martin’s head each time she looks in the mirror. Since the night she was torn from her car and drained of her blood, Sunny’s fear of the hungry beast within her is rivaled only by the fear of exposure. Her lonely struggle to survive on the edge of the human world leads Sunny to the mountain peaks of Colorado where she meets Nicolas, the enigmatic leader of a hidden society. Their passion, tainted by betrayal, violence, and murder, reveals a shocking truth behind Sunny’s savage nature and drives her toward an agonizing Choice between her heart and the last remnant of her human soul.
Withered World by Sara Kincaid
No feast. Just famine… The Curare are a damaged earth’s sole hope of healing. Enslaved for the same rare elemental powers that will eventually kill them, they are forced to leave everything they love behind to do the impossible. …When soldiers descend on South Farm, Vea Algana, a Curare unlike any other, is flushed out of hiding. She flees her home with Leo, a City Slicker who abandoned the City for the farms under mysterious circumstances and wants nothing more than to fight back. Out in the desiccated fields of No Man’s Land, Vea must make a choice: go back into hiding once more or trust in Leo’s plan and face her enemy.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and remember—you’ll have another chance to enter with a new group of books next Monday. Enter weekly for extra entries, and the winner will be announced at the end of each month.